Giovanni Bazzana Named Assistant Professor of New Testament

The celebrated New Testament scholar Giovanni Bazzana has accepted an appointment to the Faculty of Divinity as Assistant Professor of New Testament. Bazzana, who currently serves as a sessional instructor in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto, will assume his post at Harvard Divinity School on July 1, 2009.

"We are delighted that Giovanni Bazzana will be joining our faculty next fall," said Dean William A. Graham in announcing the appointment. "He has already established himself as a first-rate scholar in Christian New Testament studies with his work on the figure of the prophet in New Testament literature. His strength in papyrology also brings an important strength to biblical studies at Harvard. We look forward to welcoming him to our ranks and to having his teaching and mentoring for Harvard students in both Divinity School and Faculty of Arts and Sciences programs."

Before teaching at Toronto, Bazzana was a fellow from 2004-07 at the University of Milan (Università degli Studi di Milano), where he also received an MA and taught courses on New Testament and early Christian literature. Bazzana received his PhD in religious studies from the International School of Sciences of Culture in Modena, Italy. In 2007-08, he was a visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame.

"Harvard University and Harvard Divinity School have a striking character," Bazzana said. "The richness of the library and the high quality of the intellectual debate are well known. With its strength in the classics and in anthropology, Harvard will afford me the best opportunity to successfully pursue my current research. I look forward to working in such a pleasing and stimulating environment."

Bazzana's areas of research include the Gospels and papyrology, the New Testament in its social world, and the old Latin translation of the Bible. His chief focus is on how New Testament and early Christian texts work together within the wider context of the Jewish and Greco-Roman world. His most recent work examines a wide array of sources—not only literary, but also papyrological and epigraphical—in order to discover how ancient audiences other than learned elites may have received the Christian message.